- What is this Settlement about?
Plaintiffs claim that herbicides containing the chemical dicamba caused damage to crops of certain Soybean Producers. This Settlement is designed to resolve claims of Soybean Producers against certain agricultural companies for alleged harm to soybeans from contact with dicamba between 2015 and 2020. If you were a Soybean Producer for commercial purposes and grew soybean crops that showed symptoms of dicamba exposure, you may be eligible for benefits from this Settlement.
- How do I know if I qualify for this Settlement?
You may be entitled to benefits under the proposed Settlement if during the 2015 through 2020 crop seasons you were a Producer of soybeans for commercial purposes, that showed symptoms of dicamba exposure during one or more of those years, and attest that, to the best of your knowledge, the symptoms were due to dicamba applications by third parties to dicamba tolerant soybeans and/or cotton. Under the proposed Settlement, the Claim Fund will be capped under the Settlement Agreement.
- Why is there a settlement?
All parties believe that their respective interests are best served by entering into this Settlement, particularly given the risks inherent in complex litigation and the time it would take to bring the litigation to a conclusion.
In the interests of efficiency and avoiding substantial litigation costs, the parties decided to resolve the case through settlement. In this way, the parties avoid the costs and risks of litigation and trial.
- What rights am I giving up by participating in the Settlement?
If the Claims Administrator determines that you are eligible to participate in this Settlement, you should understand that:
- Enrollment in the Process is irrevocable and subjects you to the authority of the persons specified in the Agreement to oversee the Process, including, but not limited to, the Appeals Master and the Claims Administrator;
- You are releasing claims against the entities and individuals identified in the Release and Incorporation of Settlement, which may not be revoked, rescinded or returned other than as explained in the Agreement;
- Enrollment may terminate any lawsuits that you have brought or could have brought related to the subject matter of the Agreement, and no Claim may be advanced other than as permitted under the Agreement; and
- This Settlement process is your sole and exclusive remedy for Claims, and you will be bound by its results.
If you have questions about your rights, please review the Settlement Agreement, or contact the Claims Administrator at 1-855-914-4672 (Toll-free).
- What benefits does the Settlement provide?
Each payment is based on a formula that takes into account the planted soybean acres at issue on which you are eligible to recover, your ownership interest, and the USDA/NASS average price of soybeans in your state. See the Settlement Agreement for additional detail.
- How do I participate in the Settlement?
To participate in the Settlement, a Claims Package, including the Claim Form and documentation (see FAQ 7), must have been submitted electronically or postmarked no later than May 28, 2021.
Submitting a Claim Package does not, on its own, establish a right to receive a Settlement Payment. Rather, Settlement Payments will be determined in accord with the terms of the Agreement. Claim Forms that are substantially illegible, not properly signed, or otherwise incomplete will be rejected.
Claimants will be given an opportunity to cure incomplete Claims (for example, not all required documentation is included in Claimant’s submission, or not all required fields of the Claim Form are completed), however Claims that are rejected will be removed from the Process and rendered ineligible for any Settlement Payment, subject to Appeal.
- What documents are required to participate in the Settlement?
Documentation must be provided to support your claim. Please review the table below to understand the types of documentation required and what documentation is situational to successfully prove your claims.
Injury Records for each Affected Field and Damage Year. You must provide one or more Category 1 Documents or two or more Category 2 Documents. For more information please click here.
Please ensure that each Injury Record submitted clearly identifies the Affected Field(s) and Damage Year(s) that it is being submitted in support of. Photos and videos should be clearly labeled to identify the Affected Field(s) and Damage Year(s). While not required, the Photo and Video Authentication Form will assist the Claims Administrator in its evaluation of your claim.
You are required to submit any Administrative Agency Reports that you have. Administrative Agency Reports can separately be used as Injury Records where they contain appropriate information. For more information please see FAQ 8.
Actual yield data (A-Yields if they exist) for Affected Fields and Selected Benchmark Fields for Damage Years and at least the three Non-Damage Years in which both the Affected Field and Benchmark Field were planted to soybeans closest in time to the Damage Year (See FAQ 11 below, for definition of Benchmark Field);
- You may submit actual yield data for up to ten Non-Damage Years. Providing data for at least four Non-Damage Years may reduce the likelihood that you will be asked to provide additional actual yield data during the process if your Benchmark Fields are determined to be ineligible;
- Any Yield Record that you submit must be a complete document and no yield information may be redacted;
- If none of the Affected Field and Selected Benchmark Fields have A-Yields in any relevant year, you must so certify. Please see FAQ 9 on the specific information required.
- For more information on acceptable Yield Data, please see FAQ 9.
FSA-578 Form(s), or FSA-578 Form like documentation, for all fields within the same Farm Number (or if none, all fields within the same township and range) for your earliest Non-Damage Year and the latest Non-Damage Year or Damage Year and each year in between.
a. For fields where you have identified a Benchmark Field, the relevant Non-Damage Years are the three years closest in time to the Damage Year where both the Affected Field and the Benchmark Field were planted to soybeans but not injured.
b. For Affected Fields where you have not identified a Benchmark Field, the relevant Non-Damage Years are the four years closest in time to the Damage Year where the Affected Field did not have dicamba injury.
RMA and FSA Release Release and Incorporation of Settlement Form Situation: Required Documentation: Attorney representing a Claimant The Claim Form for a Claimant who is represented by legal counsel must be submitted by its Enrolling Counsel who must have submitted an Enrolling Counsel Declaration. Enrolling Counsel representing multiple Claimants may submit a single Enrolling Counsel Declaration. For the avoidance of doubt, references herein to Claim Forms submitted “by” a Claimant will be deemed to include Claims Forms submitted on behalf of such Claimant by Enrolling Counsel. Claimant is deceased A Death Certificate or other proof showing that the Claimant is deceased and proof of authority to act on behalf of the estate. No FSA-578
Document(s) that includes the acreage of a field, the crop planted, and the respective interests of any Person with an interest in the field.
If no document(s) exist, a verified certification, under oath, containing the required information.
Claiming more than 30+ Affected Fields. If you are claiming more than 30+ Affected Fields, you may upload a preformatted spreadsheet, "Affected Field Spreadsheet." for bulk filing. Other Persons who have an interest in the Affected Field and you are filing on their behalf Affiliated Claimant Consent Form Filed lawsuit against Monsanto Stipulation of Dismissal With Prejudice Order Received payment for yield loss from your crop insurance If you wish for the field to be considered for a Benchmark Payment rather than only a Default Payment, documentation from the crop insurance company that they identified dicamba symptomology or documentation sufficient to show the Affected Field still qualifies as an Eligible Field under one of the exceptions in Section 7.b.i-iii of the Settlement Agreement. See FAQ 14 for additional information.
Please note that other documents may be required. If required documents are not submitted, the Claims Administrator will notify you.
Documentation should be clear and legible copies, as nothing will be returned to you.
- What are Administrative Agency Reports?
Administrative Agency Report means any report and its related exhibits regarding any complaint filed with, or investigation conducted by, a state or local administrative agency regarding alleged synthetic auxin herbicide symptomology relating to (i) the soybeans of the Claimant, any Person who owns an interest in Claimant, any Person in whom Claimant owns an interest, or any Affiliated Claimant on whose behalf Claimant is filing, or (ii) herbicide sprayed by the Claimant, any Person who owns in interest in Claimant, or any Person in whom Claimant owns an interest, in either case in the 2015-2020 growing seasons.
- What Constitutes Acceptable Yield Data?
First you must provide Actual Yields ("A-Yields") as reported in the Claimants crop insurance records where A-Yields exist. If A-Yields do not exist, you may provide calibrated yield monitor data. If neither A-Yields nor calibrated yield monitor data exist, then you may provide other records made in the year in question with similar indicia of reliability. Calibrated yield monitor data may be provided in lieu of A-Yields if the Claimant can show that A-Yields are not the most reliable measure of their yields. You can, but are not required to, submit yield data if RMA records exist for that field.
If providing calibrated yield monitor records, you must provide and certify (as to each yield monitor, Field and/or year at issue, as applicable) certain information depending on why you wish to rely on calibrated yield monitor data and how your yield monitors are calibrated as set forth below.
If you wish to use calibrated yield monitor data in lieu of existing A-Yields because your A-Yields are not the most reliable measure of yields and your yield monitors were not professionally calibrated, you must provide the following information:
- The Affected Field(s) and Damage Year(s) you are seeking to rely on yield monitor data rather than A-Yields;
- The manufacturer and brand of the combine (if the yield monitor is included as a feature of the combine) and/or yield monitor(s) used, and the model number or sufficient information to establish the model number to the extent available;
- The approximate date(s) of purchase of the yield monitor(s) used;
- The approximate date(s) of harvest;
- The approximate date(s) the mass flow sensor was last calibrated before harvest;
- The name(s) of the individual(s) who physically performed the last mass flow sensor calibration before harvest;
- The approximate date(s) the moisture sensor was last calibrated before harvest;
- The name(s) of the individual(s) who physically performed the last moisture sensor calibration before harvest;
- A copy of the yield monitor operation manual(s) if available;
- An attestation that the manual instructions for calibration were followed;
- An attestation that any lag time settings and header position settings were properly and reasonably set, and the header cut width was properly programmed;
- An attestation that the yield monitor had received any available software or firmware updates that were necessary for proper yield measurement; and
- An explanation as to why the Claimant believes that yield monitor data should be used in lieu of A-Yields.
If the yield monitor was used on all Fields for which you are seeking to use calibrated yield monitor data, you need not include the information requested in items (k) or (l) above.
If you wish to use calibrated yield monitor data in lieu of existing A-Yields because your A-Yields are not the most reliable measure of yields and the yield monitor was professionally calibrated in the twelve months prior to the harvest of the Field(s) at issue, then as an alternative to the certification above, you may submit: (i) the Affected Field(s) and Damage Year(s) for which you are to rely on yield monitor data rather than A-Yields; (ii) the approximate date(s) of harvest; and (iii) records reflecting the last professional calibration before harvest.
If no A-Yields are available for an Affected Field for a given Damage Year, you must provide: (i) the manufacturer and brand of the combine (if the yield monitor is included as a feature of the combine) and/or yield monitor(s) used, and the model number or sufficient information to establish the model number to the extent available; (ii) the approximate date(s) of harvest; and (iii) an attestation that the manual instructions for calibration were followed or records reflecting the last professional calibration before harvest.
- How will Field Yield Loss be Calculated?
Field Yield loss will be calculated in bushels per acre for each Eligible Field, as determined in accordance with either the Yield Comparison Methodology or the Enhanced Review Process.
For each Eligible Field subject to the Yield Comparison Methodology, the Claims Administrator must calculate a Field Yield Loss by subtracting the Eligible Field’s Affected Field Damage Year Yield from the Predicted Yield Per Acre for the Damage Year at issue. The result is the Field Yield Loss for the Eligible Field, expressed in bushels per acre. For avoidance of doubt, the Field Yield Loss determined in accordance with the Yield Comparison Methodology may be a negative number. If for any Affected Field subject to the Benchmark Field Methodology or County Average Methodology predicts that the Affected Field’s Field Yield Loss is a negative number, then the Claims Administrator will set the Field Yield Loss to zero.
For more information please see the Settlement Agreement and Exhibit I.
- What is a Benchmark Field?
For each Affected Field and Damage Year (e.g., AF1), you must choose a Benchmark Field to the extent any such Fields are eligible as Benchmark Fields.
A Field is eligible as a Benchmark Field for an Affected Field and Damage Year if: (i) you have an Interest in the Field; (ii) it is not an Affected Field in the same year; (iii) it is within the same Farm Number as the Affected Field or, if there are no Fields otherwise meeting this Benchmark Field criteria within the same Farm Number as the Affected Field, then is within the same township and range as the Affected Field; (iv) it is not less than twenty-five (25) planted acres; and (v) was planted to soybeans in the Damage Year and at least three (3) Non-Damage Years for the Affected Field to which it is being compared (the “Minimum Benchmark Criteria”).
Benchmark Fields should be selected from the following groups in order of priority:
- First, from within the same FSA Farm Number and Tract Number as the Affected Field.
- If no such Fields meeting the Minimum Benchmark Criteria are available, then, second, from within the same Farm Number as the Affected Field.
- If no such Fields are available, then, third, from within the same township and range as the Affected Field, as specified by the United States Public Land Survey System, or for Fields located in a region not included in the Public Land Survey System, the same county.
By proposing a Field as a Benchmark Field, you certify that it is an appropriate Field to compare to an Affected Field (“Benchmark Similarity Requirement”). You may disregard any Field as a possible Benchmark Field if you do not believe it meets the Benchmark Similarity Requirement, but if (1) that Field is located in a group with a higher priority (see paragraph above) than the Benchmark Field selected or (2) disregarding that Field or Fields will mean that you have no fields meeting the Minimum Benchmark Criteria, you must provide a reason to disregard a Field along with supporting documents. If you provide a qualifying reason, the Field will be disregarded. If you provide a non-qualifying reason, your claim for that Field will be subject to the Enhanced Review Process and your explanation will be weighed by the Enhanced Review Panel. The following reasons to disregard a field that otherwise meets the Minimum Benchmark Criteria are qualifying reasons:
- The Affected Field and Field otherwise meeting the Minimum Benchmark Criteria for such Affected Field do not have the same irrigation status (i.e., one is irrigated and one is non-irrigated) in the Damage Year or in any of the three (3) most recent Non-Damage Years in which both the Affected Field and the Field at issue were planted to soybeans, as reflected in your Form FSA 578 (or similar form or certification, if applicable);
- The Affected Field is 5 or fewer Planted Soybean Acres as reflected in your Form FSA 578 (or similar form or certification, if applicable), and you explain why the size difference makes the Field otherwise meeting the Minimum Benchmark Criteria inappropriate for purposes of comparing yields;
- The Affected Field and Field otherwise meeting Minimum Benchmark Criteria were planted twenty-one (21) or more days apart in the Damage Year or in any of the three (3) most recent Non-Damage Years in which both the Affected Field and the Field at issue were planted to soybeans, as reflected in your Form FSA 578 (or similar form or certification, if applicable); or
- The Affected Field or Field otherwise meeting the Minimum Benchmark Criteria, but not both, suffered yield loss attributed to an Act of God in the Damage Year or in any of the three (3) most recent Non-Damage Years in which both the Affected Field and the Field at issue were planted to soybeans, and the yield in the year of loss was at least 25% less than the APH (Actual Production History) of such Field, as reflected in records of your crop insurer.
If you are claiming one of the above qualifying reasons to excuse you from the requirement of selecting a Benchmark Field, you must provide the appropriate Forms FSA 578 (or similar forms or certification, if applicable) or insurance records to support that reason. If you provide a different reason, you may submit documents supporting that reason.
The same Benchmark Field may be selected for one or more Affected Fields and Damage Year if it meets the Minimum Benchmark Criteria and Benchmark Similarity Requirement. If you are proposing the same Benchmark Field for multiple Affected Fields and/or Damage Years, list the Benchmark Field for each corresponding Affected Field Number and Damage Year.
- Do I need Legal Counsel?
You are free to consult an attorney of your choice, at your own expense, to discuss whether to participate and to obtain more information regarding the Settlement’s possible financial or other impact on you. If you are currently represented by an attorney regarding this matter, please consult with your attorney.
Any Claimant who is represented by legal counsel not on the Executive Committee Counsel (ECC) must certify on the Claim Form that the Claimant understands and agrees that twelve percent (12%) of the Claimant’s Settlement Payment, if any, will be withheld and any Enrolling Counsel who is not a member of the ECC must certify and agree on the Enrolling Counsel Declaration that the twelve percent (12%) withheld will reduce, on a dollar-per-dollar basis, the amount of fees otherwise due the Enrolling Counsel under any fee agreement between Enrolling Counsel and the Claimant.
- I received a Notice of Incomplete Claim Submission. How do I reply to this Notice?
The Notice that you received indicates the deficiencies with your claim submission and you must correct those deficiencies in order for your claim to proceed. Please correct only the deficiencies noted. You may not submit new Affected Fields or other new claims in response to a Notice of Incomplete Claim Submission.
In the event the Notice indicates that you are missing required forms, you should print, complete and submit those forms to the mailing address or email address provided on the Notice. You can find copies of the forms here.
If your Notice indicates deficiencies with your Claim Form, you should download and print a copy of the Claim Form found here and complete the missing information on this Claim Form. You do not need to submit the entire Claim Form again – just the missing information. Then submit that Claim Form (or relevant pages) to the mailing address or email address provided on the Notice.
If your Notice indicates that you did not provide the required documentation (such as Injury Records, Yield Records or FSA-578s), please submit the documentation to the mailing address or email address provided on the Notice. If you have questions about the documentation, please review FAQ 7.
When replying to the Notice, please include the first page of the Notice along with your response as this will ensure your response is added to your claim as soon as possible. Please keep a copy of all submitted documents and forms for your reference as documents and forms cannot be returned.
If you have questions, please reach out to us at 1-855-914-4672.
- I received an insurance payment for field loss for my Affected Field from my crop insurance company. Am I still eligible for a payment?
That will depend on the reason for the payment as detailed by your crop insurance company. If you received a payment from your crop insurance company for yield loss attributed to an Act of God and the crop insurance company did NOT identify dicamba symptomology in the records, the Affected Field will be considered an Eligible Field for purposes of calculating a Default Payment but will not be eligible for a Benchmark Payment unless one of the exceptions from Section 7.b.i-iii of the Settlement Agreement applies. If your crop insurance company identified dicamba symptomology on the Affected Field or an exception in Section 7.b.i-iii applies, you must include documentation with your claim showing that the insurance company identified dicamba symptomology or showing an exception under the Settlement Agreement applies. Please see Section 7.b. of the Settlement Agreement for further information. If you received a payment for yield loss on an Affected Field from a third party other than your crop insurance company, that information must be included on the Claim Form. The Affected Field will still be eligible for a Benchmark Payment but will be subject to an offset. Please see Section 14 of the Settlement Agreement for further information.
- I submitted my claim but I forgot to include an Affected Field. Can I submit another claim or amend the one that I submitted to add the Affected Field?
No. You can only submit one claim and you are limited to correct the deficiencies in that claim as identified by the Claims Administrator. Please review Sections 2.b.ii-iv, Section 4.a. and Section 11 of the Settlement Agreement for further information. If another claim is submitted by the same person (or entity) and/or additional Affected Fields are submitted, they will be rejected.
- How do I get more information?
For more details regarding this Settlement, please review the Settlement Agreement. If you have additional questions, or need assistance filing your Claim Form, contact the Claims Administrator at 1-855-914-4672 (toll-free).